Belgrade Theatre's UNPLUGGED to Return 19-26 July
The Belgrade theatre has announced the return of 'Unplugged' from Sat 19 - Sat 26 July 2014. First launched in 2013, the week-long performance programme taking place at venues throughout Coventry and Warwickshire will once again offer audiences the unique opportunity to preview rehearsed readings from the Belgrade's Autumn Season of home-produced drama.
Building on the great success of Unplugged 2013, this year's event will see the Belgrade theatre leave its home to visit a host of exciting new locations across Coventry and Warwickshire, giving both new and existing audiences a rare opportunity to preview the Belgrade theatre's programme of forthcoming work in production.
Rehearsal readings will take place in a series of unique settings around Coventry and Warwickshire, including The Establishment Bar and Grill, Coventry, Nicholas Chamberlaine Almshouses, Bedworth, Touchwood shopping Centre, Solihull, the historic Upton House near Banbury, Rugby Museum and Art Gallery, Lunt Roman Fort and former site of a medieval quarry Primrose Hill Park.
As part of Unplugged 2014, audiences can look forward to readings from a selection of upcoming productions which include the world premiere of Peter Arnott's Propaganda Swing, 2Tone musical Three Minute Heroes and the popular B2 X-mas show Oh No It Isn't. There will also be the opportunity to preview scenes from forthcoming work by our nationally-recognized Community & Education Company.
The Belgrade's Artistic Director Hamish Glen said, "I'm delighted that Belgrade Unplugged will be returning for 2014. These events have been devised to offer people the chance to come and hear excerpts from our forthcoming autumn season in the form of rehearsed readings in interesting and inspiring settings. They aren't fully realised productions with big sets and lighting; they are stripped back, "unplugged" readings that I'm putting together with a group of talented actors, to give you a unique taste of what's in store at the Belgrade throughout the rest of the year. Whether you're a theatre aficionado or just looking for a fun and entertaining cultural experience, Unplugged promises to be a great showcase of some of the exciting theatre we've got coming up this Autumn."
Development Manager and Belgrade Unplugged Co-ordinator David Jane added: 'We're thrilled to be able to bring Belgrade Unplugged back on tour again this year, which has been made possible thanks to funding through the Arts Council England Catalyst Arts programme. Last year was a great success and introduced people from across the region to the work that we stage at the Belgrade. The readings are free to watch and will last around an hour, and if the sun is out, there will be plenty of opportunities to being a picnic to the outdoor events'.
The first event will take place in the familiar surroundings of the Belgrade Theatre's Restaurant, the B4 Grill on Saturday 19 July at 1pm. Guests at the event will also have the option to have lunch served to them in the Restaurant to accompany the reading if they choose.
This will be followed by an early evening visit to The Establishment Bar and Grill on Monday 21st July at 5.30pm. Situated in the cobbled streets of Coventry's cathedral quarter at the heart of the City Centre, The Establishment Bar and Grill is set in the Old County Hall which dates back to 1783 and until the mid-1980s was the main court in Coventry. As part of the evening, guests can enjoy a post-work drink or a bite to eat in the building famously known as the site of Coventry's last public hanging.
Lovers of history can look forward to journeying back in time on Tuesday 22 July at 7pm as Unplugged moves to the Nicholas Chamberlaine Almshouses in Bedworth. Built in 1840, these Tudor-style buildings remain one of Bedworth's best-loved architectural gems. Taking advantage of the buildings' beautiful grounds, rehearsed readings will be performed outdoors from 7pm with the opportunity for guests to bring their own picnic to enjoy during the show. In the event of bad weather, readings will move indoors to the Residents' Lounge.
Continuing the historical theme, guests can enjoy a taste of the high life on Wednesday 23 July at the stunning Upton House and Gardens near Banbury. Managed by the National Trust and former home to celebrated 1930s millionaires, Lord and Lady Bearstead, this beautiful property is renowned for its internationally important art and porcelain collections. A total of four rehearsed readings will take place every half an hour between 1.30pm and 3pm in the Picture Gallery, with a different reading performed each time.
There is no charge to watch the performance but there is an admission fee to enter the property and gardens. Guests are advised to visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/upton-house for more details.
From historic splendour to the buzz of a thriving town centre, Thursday 24th July at 1.00pm sees Unplugged move to Touchwood, Solihull's award-winning City Centre shopping centre. This will be followed by a visit to Primrose Hill Park in Hillfields on Friday 25 July at 1pm, former site of a medieval quarry now considered to be one of the city's favourite local beauty spots. In the event of bad weather, readings will move to The Hope Centre just across the road from Primrose Park.
Moving east to Rugby Art Gallery and Museum, families can look forward to an early afternoon reading from the Belgrade Unplugged Company on Saturday 26 July at 2pm. Located in the thriving city centre, the Art Gallery and museum houses an exciting exhibition of contemporary and modern art as well an extensive museum collection of Roman and local history objects.
Completing this year's Unplugged line-up for 2014 is Lunt Roman Fort in Baginton. A gem in Coventry's cultural crown, Lunt is a partially reconstructed Roman fort dating back to AD 60 and was originally built as part of the fortifications to defend the Roman Empire against attacks from the Iceni of East Anglain, led by the legendary Boudica.
The atmospheric surroundings of the gyrus will provide the final backdrop to the 2014 series of readings and a fitting destination for a summer picnic.
For more information about all of The Belgrade Theatre Unplugged events visit www.belgrade.co.uk/unplugged.